Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New Life and a Black Ending

I had a surprise when I was walking to the Ivy north hide this morning, just after I had passed the store I noticed a movement just off the path and there were three Fox cubs sunning themselves, I then realised that the holes there must be the earth. I am not quite sure how I had failed to realise this earlier as they could hardly be more obvious. I did take a picture but it was so bad that even I will not post it.

Instead I post a picture of one of a pair of nest building Treecreeper high up in a dead Oak along the Dockens Water path, at first I had thought they were feeding young but then saw that what they were taking in was not food at all.
As today was the nearest thing to a decent May day that we have had so far I had a short search for some of the spring insects that should be out by now. Along the way I saw four species of damselflies including my first Azure Damsel and Blue-tailed Damsel this year. The picture is of the Blue-tailed.
In the same area as the damsel I came across the little jumping spider below, it had just caught a fly. The huge forward pointing eyes can be seen in the picture, these are important for the judging of distance crucial to making accurate jumps. It is a common species called Heliophanus flavipes and has distinctive pale legs and yellow palps.
Sweeping the vegetation I caught the small caterpillar below, I think it is the larva of the Engrailed, a common moth of the late winter period which has a second brood in late summer.
After a good start the sun went in and i was just about to give up when I found the hoverfly below resting on a frond of Royal Fern, it was evidently waiting for the sun to come out again as it was in basking mode. This is a particularly striking black and yellow species called Xanthogramma pedisequum.
From all this concentration on other wildlife you will have guessed that today was pretty light on birds. The Pintail, Wigeon and Pochard were all still on Ibsley Water, as were two Dunlin. The most notable bird event of the day was that the Great Spotted Woodpeckers featured on Woodpeckercam have obviously hatched as they adults are now bringing in food.
The day ended on a black note, in the shape of 2 Black Swans on Ibsley Water

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